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Why Africa’s development model puzzles economists

Geoff Riley

21st August 2017

A really important article to read here from the Economist especially for Year 13 students getting stuck into their development economics.

African manufacturing industry has not grown as strongly as standard theory would suggest. Indeed, its contribution to GDP has changed little since the late 1970s. 

A selection of key quotes from the article

"Workers move to cities, but end up "selling second-hand clothes, not stitching new ones."

"For every 10 workers to lay down their hoes, only 2 find work in industry. The rest absorbed in informal sector."

"In the age of automation, Africa development doesn't have to follow traditional paths."

"Africans are competing not just with low-wage workers in Bangladesh and elsewhere, but with even lower-wage robots."

This is not the case in all African countries of course and some nations are making progress in achieving industrialisation through active industrial strategies.

Here are some more related articles and resource links:

Geoff Riley

Geoff Riley FRSA has been teaching Economics for over thirty years. He has over twenty years experience as Head of Economics at leading schools. He writes extensively and is a contributor and presenter on CPD conferences in the UK and overseas.

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